Skip to main content

Bror Julius Olsson (B.J.O.) Nordfeldt papers, 1909-1989

Nordfeldt, Bror Julius Olsson, 1878-1955

Painter, Portrait painter


Collection Information

Size: 3.6 Linear feet, (partially microfilmed on 2 reels)

Summary: Biographical material, correspondence, business records, writings and notes, printed material, scrapbooks, and photographs document Nordfeldt's career as a painter and instructor, and his widow's involvement after his death in exhibitions, biographies, and sales of his work.
REELS D166-D167: Biographical material includes a biographical sketch by Stanton L. Catlin, several letters from Nordfeldt's first wife Margaret to his second wife, Emily, and his nephew, Leonard Olson, in response to requests for biographical information, and biographical documents; correspondence of Emily and B.J.O., 1909-1959, with museum directors, gallery owners, patrons, artists, friends, universities, and others, mainly regarding the sale and exhibitions of his paintings and his teaching positions; artists' statements; exhibition catalogs; photographs of Nordfeldt; an excerpt from The Man on the Hilltop, by Arthur Davison Ficke; 5 sketchbooks; 3 scrapbooks; and an extensive catalog of Nordfeldt's paintings compiled by Emily, containing photographs and descriptive information.
Among the correspondents are Dewey Albinson, Watson Bidwell, Gina Knee Brook, Victor Candell, Howard N. Cook, Edward L. Davison, Howard Devree, William Dickerson, Constance Forsyth, Harriet Hanley of Harriet Hanley Gallery, Raymond Jonson, William Lester, A. Hyatt Mayor, Georgette Passedoit of the Passedoit Gallery, his student Roberta Shelton, Homer Saint-Gaudens, and Hudson D. Walker. Some of the letters are illustrated.
UNMICROFILMED: Resumes; correspondence, undated, 1923-1979, includes excerpts of letters from Nordfeldt to Constance Forsyth, 1942-1943 and Emily Abbott Nordfeldt, 1944; Emily Abbott Nordfeldt's correspondence with art collectors, art dealers, galleries and museums regarding exhibitions, gifts and sales of Nordfeldt's work; with Nordfeldt's biographers F. Van Deren Coke and J. Douglas Hale; and with the University of Minnesota, University Gallery, 1970-1972 regarding a Nordfeldt exhibition and the Nordfeldt Fund established by Emily; receipts and other business records; 1944-1979; writings and notes by Emily, ca.1930-1950, and others including the preface by Sheldon Cheney for Nordfeldt, the Painter by Coke, 1972;
a transcript of an interview with Raymond Jonson by Coke; printed material, including clippings, 1912-1984, exhibition catalogs, posters and announcements, undated, 1915-1991, notably a catalog of Nordfeldt's etchings shown at the Arthur H. Hahlo & Co. with an introduction by Robert W. Bruere, 1915; reproductions of graphic work for The Outlook and Harper's Monthly Magazine, 1910; miscellaneous printed material; a scrapbook of clippings and printed material, 1971-1980; photographs of Nordfeldt, undated 1910-1955, of the Santa Fe Players' production of "Grumpy," 1921; 3 photo albums of works of art, ca. 1930-1940; 10 seconds of motion picture film; and 2 sketches by Nordfeldt.

Biographical/Historical Note

Painter, etcher, block printer, engraver, lithographer, watercolorist, teacher; Santa Fe, N.M. and Lambertville, N.J. Born in Tullstorp, Scania, Sweden, and came to the United States in 1891. Taught at the Minneapolis School of Art and the University of Texas. Moved to Lambertville, N.J. in 1937 from Santa Fe, N.M.


Material on reels D166-D167 lent for microfilming 1963 by Emily Abbott Nordfeldt, Bror's widow. In 1991 her estate donated additional material as well as portions of the previously microfilmed material. Material previously lent but NOT subsequently donated includes portions of the biographical material; several letters; artists' statements; a few personal photographs; the 5 sketchbooks; items from the scrapbooks; and the catalog of paintings. (The collection file contains a list of specific reel and frame numbers.)

Language Note

English .

Location of Originals

  • Reels D166-D167: sketchbooks, catalog, and other items not donated: Location of originals unknown.

How to Use This Collection

Alternative Forms Available

35mm microfilm reel D166-D167 available for use at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Bror Julius Olsson (B.J.O.) Nordfeldt papers, 1909-1989. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.